St. Maries’ football team converted two of its four fourth down attempts Sept. 13.
Deer Park had none.
St. Maries rushed for 178 yards.
Deer Park racked up 129.
The Lumberjacks ran nearly double the plays Deer Park did, 60-39.
But in the end, the Stags made St. Maries pay for the small number of mistakes it made, and handed the Jacks their first loss by a margin of 13-21.
“Most games you can make a few mistakes and it doesn’t cost you too badly,” Coach Craig Tefft said. “The difference was this is a team that scores points when you mess up.”
St. Maries’ lone turnover of the game came in the red zone at the tail end of a sustained drive to the 10-yard line.
“We score on that drive, and go into the fourth quarter tied, and there’s no telling where that game is going,” Coach Tefft commented.
The Lumberjacks (2-1) welcome Priest River (0-2) Friday for the first of three consecutive games against Intermountain League opponents. St. Maries has not lost to the IML since 2013.
“They always play us tough,” Coach Tefft said of Priest River. “They’ve got good team speed, and their record is deceiving, because they’ve played a couple very good teams, and hung with them. It’ll be a good game.”
Dylan Larson opened scoring for St. Maries Sept. 13. After giving up a 74-yard passing play that left them in a 0-7 hole, the Jacks answered in the second quarter with a two-yard rushing touchdown from Dylan.
The Stags took a 14-7 lead into halftime after striking on a 24-yard pass before the break, and added to their lead in the third frame with a 50-yard run to put them ahead 21-7.
“We held them for most the game. Our defense did a great job for the most part,” Coach Tefft said. “But it seems like those big plays have been our Achilles heel. That was really what got us.”
Sam Martin capped a fourth-quarter drive with a three-yard rushing touchdown to bring the Jacks within eight, but scoring ended there in a 13-21 defeat.
“It should give us motivation, and should be good for confidence,” Coach Tefft added. “That’s a good team that makes deep playoff runs in Washington every year, so we should take a lot of positives from this.”
Kickoff Friday is set for 7 p.m. at St. Maries High School.